Syria

UN Syria Envoy Holds Talks in Damascus

Low expectations

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U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (R) and Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad arrive to a hotel surrounded by security, Oct. 28, 2013 in Damascus, Syria.

International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks in Damascus on Monday at the end of a Middle East tour to promote a Syrian peace conference, but regional tensions have cast a pall over his mission.

Brahimi visited capitals across the Middle East to discuss plans for the "Geneva 2" meeting, tentatively set for Nov. 23, to try to halt more than 2-1/2 years of bloodshed in Syria.